Winter Salad with Oranges and Endive

This is the perfect time of year to enjoy citrus of all varieties. Oranges are what I crave the most, well those and grapefruit.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in the south and we could pick them off the trees in our yard. Oranges combined with the bitterness of endive and the peppery bite of arugula makes for a perfect winter salad.  

1/4 cup walnut halves
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 navel oranges, preferably organic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 – 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small head purple or white Belgian endive
1 small head of romaine, leaves torn or chopped
2 ounces baby arugula (optional)
1/4 cup parsley tender parsley leaves
2 ounces French Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1/2 sweet red apple, unpeeled, cored and medium-diced
2 ounces baby arugula

Toast the walnuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove to a plate or bowl to cool; then roughly chop and set aside.

Using a microplane zest one of the oranges; then using a sharp knife, supreme the oranges by removing the rind and pith. Cut out each orange section between the membranes. Squeeze the membrane, reserving the juice, and discard the membrane. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; then whisk in olive oil. Set aside.

Cut the head of endive in half lengthwise, remove the triangle of core at the base of each half so the leaves separate, and cut the leaves in half again lengthwise and then chop.

In a medium bowl add the endive and romaine. Drizzle leaves with vinaigrette and add the walnuts, Roquefort and apple. Add the arugula (if using) and toss again. Serve as soon as possible.

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